The decision to move InnoTrans from September 2020 to 27 to 30 April 2021 has received widespread support from the mobility sector. Following its postponement until April 2021 InnoTrans has met with positive feedback all round. ”We are delighted that with this very complex and complicated measure we are able to offer an adequate alternative to the majority of exhibitors“, said Matthias Steckmann, senior vice president, Messe Berlin.
Rescheduling InnoTrans to just over six months after the original September 2020 dates makes the situation manageable and affords sufficient planning certainty to exhibitors and trade visitors. The next InnoTrans will take place 18 months later in September 2022 as planned. ”All in all we are delighted that the majority of exhibitors welcome the move to April 2021 and that they can make use of this traditional marketing platform for a restart after the coronavirus. It was clear from the outset that due to the coronavirus crisis and its impact some companies within the industry would be unable to take part in April 2021. That is a great pity for those concerned and we are offering support wherever we can. That said, we are all the more delighted that current bookings have reached InnoTrans 2018 levels. It shows the industry is united and working at full speed to be at InnoTrans next April. The overall excess demand from earlier this year has been reduced, however we will still be occupying the entire Berlin Exhibition Grounds. We are particularly looking forward to InnoTrans being at hub27 for the first time“, said Kerstin Schulz, the director of InnoTrans.
Associations see the InnoTrans move as a chance to restart business
The associations supporting InnoTrans agree on the event’s postponement and are optimistic about the future: ”The decision to postpone InnoTrans hurt, but was absolutely correct and sent two clear messages. Firstly, protecting public health has top priority. Secondly, this leading international trade fair offers a chance to restart business. Together with global partners our task remains to ensure clean mobility in the future – that will be our focus at InnoTrans 2021“, said Dr. Ben Möbius, general manager of the German Railway Industry Association (VDB).
Members of the Electro-Industry Association (ZVEI) voiced equally positive views: ”Postponing this year’s InnoTrans was not an easy decision. The trade fair is extremely important for showcasing new technologies and developments. Nevertheless, the decision by Messe Berlin, the ZVEI and other associations was correct. The main concern of every good trade fair must be for the people there and their health and well-being. Moving the event to 27 to 30 April 2021 was the right decision and ensures planning certainty for the companies of the ZVEI. As the leading international trade fair for transport technology InnoTrans has been a big success for many years and will continue along that path, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic. Of that I am certain“, said Olaf Zinne, head of the ZVEI Smart Mobility platform.
Dr. Heike van Hoorn, managing director of the German Transport Forum (DVF), also emphasised the necessity of postponing the event and the fact that exhibitors had gained planning certainty: ”Postponing is not the same as cancelling. We welcome the fact that Messe Berlin has moved InnoTrans, the international trade fair for transport technology, to different dates. Instead of cancelling this important event for the rail, bus and public transport sector due to coronavirus restrictions, Messe Berlin has announced a new time frame, from 27 to 30 April 2021. That gives exhibitors a long-term planning window. The DVF is already looking forward to these dates and will be represented with Dialogue Forums in April at the event. Prior to that, on 23 and 24 September 2020, we will also be holding two virtual Dialogue events with our partner Messe Berlin and be taking our opportunities in September in anticipation of 2022.“
Phillipe Citroën, president of the Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE), also welcomed the move: ”It is unfortunate that InnoTrans 2020 was postponed but it was a public safety necessity as the Covid-19 crisis continues. UNIFE looks forward to reconvening with our talented colleagues from across the rail sector in Berlin next April to discuss the EU Year of Rail, support the EU Green Deal and share the findings of the newest World Rail Market Study. Our members will also be in attendance to showcase their latest innovations that will form the backbone of the next generation of sustainable mobility.”
Industry supports the InnoTrans move to next April
”The coronavirus crisis has resulted in companies around the world facing huge challenges. The situation is evolving constantly and requires making decisions that are not always easy but are urgently needed. Our overriding priority is the safety of all employees, customers and partners. That can only be achieved by slowing the spread of the virus and weakening the infection rate. That is why postponing InnoTrans was the only decision possible“, said Voith.
This was echoed by Dr. Martell Beck, head of Sales Marketing Digitization of Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG): ”It is unfortunate that InnoTrans had to be postponed, but the decision was understandable. As pioneers in the trialling of supplementary mobility solutions, exchanging views with other members of our sector and policymakers is very important for us. We look forward to April 2021 and a new impetus from the Mobility+ sector.“
Knorr-Bremse sees the move to spring 2021 as underlining InnoTrans’ position as the leading international platform for transport technology. According to Mark Cleobury, a management executive at Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Schienenfahrzeuge GmbH, ”against the backdrop of the Covid-19 crisis InnoTrans, the world’s leading transport technology trade fair which attracts visitors and encourages travel from all over the world, runs the risk of spreading infections.“ We support moving the trade fair to 2021 in order to maintain its role as a global forum and ensure participation in the event.“
InnoTrans is the world’s leading trade fair for transport technology and takes place every two years in Berlin. At the last event 3,062 exhibitors from 61 countries presented the global rail industry’s innovations to 153,421 trade visitors who came from 149 countries. The five segments at InnoTrans are Railway Technology, Railway Infrastructure, Public Transport, Interiors and Tunnel Construction. InnoTrans is organised by Messe Berlin. The thirteenth edition of InnoTrans will take place on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds from 27 to 30 April 2021. More details are available online at www.innotrans.com.